Earth's magnetic field affecting PV panel efficiency

Jun 11, 2020 07:19 PM ET
  • Scientists in Kenya claim the geomagnetic area could reduce solar panel conversion effectiveness 0.21% between the equator and a 50-degree latitude. Their analysis showed the complicated electromagnetic field can identify boosts in component fill aspect as well as falls in optimal power.
Earth's magnetic field affecting PV panel efficiency
Image: NASA/Wikimedia Commons/

Researchers at the Multimedia University of Kenya have claimed the Earth's magnetic field influences photovoltaic panel performance in the same manner fields from high-voltage line, transformers as well as other electrical tools can.

The Kenyan team analyzed the efficiency of a multicrystalline photovoltaic panel affected by a fixed magnetic field they determined was the equivalent of the 'geomagnetic field' which safeguards Earth from the solar wind of cosmic particles from the sunlight.

The scientists observed their fixed magnetic field motivated considerable variant in the panel's voltage and also present specifications, fill variable, maximum power and also conversion performance. The modifications were created by the 'Hall result', which identifies voltage differences throughout an electric conductor. Hall voltage, stated the researchers, influences carrier movement via magnetoresistance, which consequently causes a rise in cell resistance in the existence of a magnetic field.


When the fixed area was enhanced in the experiment, the solar component's short circuit present and also present at optimal power point fell substantially while open-circuit voltage and voltage at the maximum power factor declined slightly. Those criteria integrated for a rise in the panel's fill factor as well as reduce in the optimal power, in addition to a 0.21% fall in conversion performance.

The worths videotaped, the scientists claimed, apply for areas in between the Equator and a latitude of 50 degrees.

"The findings exposed a boosted [component] -active-area-per-kilowatt [value] of 0.08 m ²/ kW of electrical power created, translating to [an] installation expense increment of 1.31%, because of lowered efficiency," said the Kenya group.

The stamina of the Earth's electromagnetic field ranges between 25,000 and also 65,000 nano-Tesla (nT) with worths of 31-58,000 nT between the equator and 50 levels latitude.

The intricacy of the geomagnetic field makes it difficult to observe and forecast. According to recent studies, the field has actually shed around 9% of its strength in the last 200 years as well as has shown even more weakness in the 'South Atlantic Anomaly' area stretching from Africa to South America.

The findings of the Kenyan study existed in the paper Investigation right into the impacts of the planet's electromagnetic field on the conversion performance of solar batteries, published in Renewable Energy and also on the ScienceDirect site.

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